Offering vintage and contemporary sewing, knitting and crochet patterns since 2000.  

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History Of Advance Patterns:

Advance Patterns of New York was the house brand of J C Penny Company from 1933 until it and was purchased by Puritan Fashions in 1966. 

Original prices began at 10 cents and climbed to 75 cents by 1964.

Since Advance did not date their patterns, it is difficult to pin down actual dates.  The information below is an approximation based on observation and experience, styling details and historical research of designers.

The pattern number is only an indicator of the date on vintage sewing patterns.  You can’t use the number alone because the companies would start over again when they got to a certain level.  You must consider the general silhouette of the clothing along with other factors such as hair, price, sizing and envelope style and logo placement you can get pretty close to the issue or copyright date.  Please be aware that even if a pattern is dated, it could have been in production for years and could even be a re-release of a previous number.

 Style eras often crossed decade lines.  For instance it is very difficult to tell a 1938 pattern from a 1941 pattern.  The basic style and design elements were the same.  The same thing applies for 1959-1961 and again in the 60s and 70's.  There is more difference between 1964 and 1967 that there is between 1969 and 1971.

Besides the general look and art work of vintage patterns, the sizing can be a very good indicator.  In the beginning of Home Patterns, the bust measurement is often the only measurement given.  By the 1940s patterns gave bust and hip measurements but often the waist was not given (due to the fact that the sewist could change that element). 

Until 1956 a Size 12 was for a 30 inch bust.  In 1956 sizing changed and a Size 12 was for a 32 inch bust.  In mid 1967 the standard changed once again and a Size 12 became a 34 inch bust and remains so today.  So if you are trying to date something near the year of size change, the size can be a great clue.

All Numbers listed have been found either on a dated pattern, or in a magazine or other publication of the period. 

These pages are constantly changing as new information and new publications are found.  So check back often to see the current changes.

 

 

1933-1939

 

 

Advance started with the number 1000 and finished the decade with the 2300 series.  Notice the Eiffel Tower in the logo.  Implying that these were Paris Designs.

 

Advance 33 Aug 896-1060

 

1933 1934 1935
1937 1938 1939
     
1940-1949
 

 

One of the companies most popular patterns was the Buttons and Bows apron used as a give away promotion in 1948 for the Movie "Pale Face" staring Jane Russell and Bob Hope. 

The decade started in the 2300 sequence and finished around 5300. 

Notice that the font and placement of the Name changed around 1948.

 

Advance 41 Oct 2810-3540
Advance 44 Jan 3419-3637
Advance 46 Dec 4408-4425

 

1941 1943 1944
1946 1947 1948
   
1950-1959
 

 

The 1950's were a more prolific time for Advance.  They started the decade in the 5300 series and finished around 9200.  They also featured many celebrity and designer patterns, including the I LOVE LUCY pattern. 

 There was small issue of Import Designer's which have not all been discovered yet.  But they did include #101 Carven, #103 Simonetta,  #113 Aurora Battilocchi and #115 Fontana. 

 American designers were issued in the regular line (without special numbers) that included Suzy Perette and Luis Estevez  and there was a line of New York Times Designer Fashions called  Patterns of the Times.

The Block letter font stays prominent and at the top.

 

 
1951 1951 1955
1956 1958 1958
     

1960-1969

 

Advance sold to Puritan in 1966 and the last known number group is the 3500's.   From 1960-1965 they were quite prolific and produced many wonderful and stylish patterns.  As one of the last companies to go to printed patterns the announced the fact by putting "A Printed Pattern" on each envelope.

The block letter font moved to the side in 1960, moved to the bottom with the Sew Easy indication around 1962 and then moved back to the side around 1964.

 

Advance 64 Jul 3475-3498
Advance 65 Apr 3307-3574
Advance 65 Apr 3353-3539
Advance 65 Jun 3419-3547

 

1960 1961 1962
1963 1964 Numbers 3475-3498 1965 Numbers 3307-3574

 

Many Thanks to: Erin at "A Dress A Day" for creating the wonderful "Sewing Pattern Wiki", all of the contributors to the Wiki, and all of my wonderful friends and pattern sellers and collectors who share their information and photos and knowledge.  (there are too many to list here, but you can find them on my Links Page,) and last but definitely not least, my Dear Husband for giving me tons of help and encouragement to research all of the data to compile for your research benefit.

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